Your path to preschool or kindergarten teaching has a few stops along the way, including a degree program and several exams. Fortunately, this article offers the guidance you need to keep yourself from wavering in your quest to become certified!
Certification Requirements for Preschool and Kindergarten Teachers in Missouri
|Average Salary for Preschool and Kindergarten Teachers in Missouri (2017)*||$27,360 (preschool), $52,700 (kindergarten)|
|Degree Field||Early childhood education|
|Testing Requirements||Missouri Pre-Service Teacher Assessment (MoPTA), Missouri Educator Profile (MEP), Missouri Education General Assessment (MoGEA), Missouri Content Assessment: Early Childhood Education|
*Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Step 1: Obtain Your Degree
If you're looking to become a teacher for preschool or kindergarten in the state of Missouri, you'll first need to obtain a bachelor's degree. The perfect fit will be a Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education. This type of education program, which must include an approved teacher education preparation section with student teaching, focuses on the early developmental stages of children in the classroom. You will find general courses, such as writing, introductory psychology, and contemporary mathematics. From there, you can move on to concentration areas like the early childhood education professional, family engagement, and integrated arts. During your degree program, you may find yourself in other field experiences and working with community organizations before you begin completing your student teaching hours.
Step 2: Pass Your Exams
Missouri's proprietary exam system requires early childhood educators to pass a number of tests on their way to becoming certified. The Missouri General Education Assessment (MoGEA), comprised of four subtests, is a general exam that ensures your competency in four areas: Reading Comprehension and Interpretation, Mathematics, Science and Social Studies, and Writing; these subtests are in multiple-choice format with the exception of Writing, which asks you for a longer response. The minimum scores for passing each section are established by your college or university, so check with your advisor to find out which scores you need.
The Missouri Pre-Service Teacher Assessment (MoPTA) asks teachers in training to submit responses to prompts regarding their current teaching environments and workplace plans. The point of this exam is to find out strength areas, as well as to improve your abilities before taking on your own classroom. If your student teaching establishment allows it, you can submit video portions of your experience as part of your answers. Any of the responses can be updated as necessary before you submit your final answers, and scores are revealed approximately four weeks after the closing of the submission deadline.
All potential educators must fill out the Missouri Educator Profile (MEP), a survey consisting of 192 multiple-choice questions. The survey is not scored, but the profile it generates helps to give the state a better idea of your personality and the ways in which you handle various situations inside a classroom. Unlike other exams required during the certification process, this survey has no deadline, is not timed, and you can take and submit it from any computer with access to the Internet.
Preschool and kindergarten teachers must also take the Missouri Content Assessment for Early Childhood Education. Similar to other content assessment areas, this exam consists of one hundred multiple-choice questions, and can be passed with a score of 220 on a scale of 100-300. A nondisclosure agreement must be signed, partially because the test may include questions that are not scored, but are used to evaluate if they should be used on future editions of the exam.
Step 3: Obtain Your Certification
When you are ready to apply for your certification, you will need to submit several documents. First, your transcripts should be provided and must reflect an overall GPA of at least 2.75 out of 4.00, with a minimum of 3.00 in early childhood education courses. A written recommendation should be included from your advisor or the supervisor of the program. In case you have not undergone a criminal background check in the past year, you'll need to submit another one along with the necessary $40.30 fee to cover the cost of processing and fingerprinting. Once approved, you will receive the Initial Professional Certificate (IPC); final processing time may vary and depends upon administrative backlog and your timely submission of all necessary documentation.
Additional Preschool and Kindergarten Teacher Resources
As you get ready to take the exams, remember that Study.com has practice guides that can help you to go into the MEGA tests with the confidence you need. Check out a few examples of the study material through the links below: